Taking photos can provide important evidence in car accident claims
Motor vehicle accidents are sudden, unexpected events. While drivers often experience varying degrees of shock in the immediate aftermath, it is important to be aware that the things you do or say during this time can have a major impact on your rights when filing a claim. Most of us carry cell phones with us at all times. Using yours to capture photos at the accident scene can provide important evidence in your case.
Why You Should Take Photos After a Car Accident
Regardless of how safe or experienced a driver you are, car accidents can still happen. The reckless driving behaviors of others, such as speeding, running red lights, and driving distracted or under the influence, are often to blame. At-fault drivers can be held liable for injuries you suffer and any medical expenses, lost wages, or other costs you incur as a result. To protect your rights in filing a claim, it is important to be aware of what to do in the event a crash or collision does occur.
The California Department of Insurance advises that your first step should be to immediately notify the police. This is legally required in cases of car accidents resulting in property damages or personal injuries. You are also required to exchange driver's license, vehicle registration, insurance, and personal contact information with all involved. While not required, taking pictures is a smart idea as it can provide valuable evidence in your case. When taking these photos, be sure to capture the following:
- The accident scene, which can provide important clues as to the causes of a crash;
- The impact on your vehicle, which documents the damage suffered;
- Your injuries, which can be used in conjunction with your hospital records and statements from medical providers;
- The other vehicle, which can help to prove the other driver was to blame.
How Car Accident Photos can Be Used in Your Case
Photos you take in the aftermath of a car accident provide useful information and can be used in two different ways:
- When filing claims with an insurer and negotiating a settlement;
- In filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, in cases in which they are uninsured or an agreeable insurance settlement cannot be reached.
Even major car insurance companies such as State Farm advise their customers to take pictures of any car accidents they are involved in. What they do not tell you is that these could also possibly implicate you on some level and may be used against you in your claim. Before submitting your photos to the insurance company, speak with our experienced Murrieta car accident attorneys for guidance.
Request a Consultation With Our Murrieta Car Accident Attorneys
Car accident injuries can impact you for years into the future. To ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to, consult with Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP before speaking with insurers or accepting any settlements. Call or contact our Murrieta car accident attorneys online today to request a consultation.